Ground was broken Wednesday on Riceboro City Park, behind the Riceboro Youth Center. City and county officials gathered at the site and talked about Riceboro’s progress.
“When we first did this we had a master plan, and in our master plan we did a survey,” City Councilman David Miller said. “And the survey went out to all the citizens of Riceboro. The No. 1 thing on the master plan that came back was creating a park. … This is what the community wanted, and so this is what we’re going to do.”
Paul Simonton, of Hinesville engineering consulting firm P.C. Simonton & Associates Inc., showed the group a map of the planned park and features.
“We’ve created a walking trail around it. The walking trail is about a quarter mile, so four laps around will give you a mile,” he said. “We’ve got it connected to the parking lot. Highway 17 is the route of the coastal bikeway, so ultimately we hope that one day this will tie in the bikers going up and down 17, and utilize this as a pull-off station, a rest station. The initial plan is to have a walking trail that will be handicapped-accessible. Then also a wheelchair pull-off, just in case they need to get around and rest.”
The park will feature a pavilion, playground and solar lighting. Riceboro Mayor Billy Austin added that the park will have exercise areas, tables and grills.
“We’ve got plenty of open areas to add stuff in the future. It’s basically designed so it can grow with the city and community,” Simonton said.
Building a park in Riceboro has been a dream for the city, Austin said. The project was delayed eight months in search of finding a grant for the park.
“We submitted a grant, and that process takes a little while. Now we found out that we’re not able to get that grant, so we’ll be moving along with the project anyway,” Austin said. “We want to bring to realization the dreams of some of the citizens of Riceboro and that’s what it’s all about.”
The Courier asked about the funding source but did not receive a reply.